Former Vice President Mike Pence on Wednesday urged congressional Republicans to stop waging war with the FBI following the agency’s search of former President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence last week.
Congressional Republicans have cried tyranny, revenge and civil war in the past week after FBI agents raided Mar-a-Lago for classified White House records that the former president was supposed to turn over to the National Archives at the end of his presidency. Some Republicans went so far as to demand the FBI be defunded. It’s all part of a broader GOP effort to paint the FBI’s search of Mar-a-Lago as some politicized weaponization of law enforcement by the Biden administration, all designed to target Trump.
During a political event in New Hampshire on Wednesday, Pence took issue with Republicans’ ongoing attack on the FBI. Pence told GOPers to direct their ire at the attorney general and said Republicans could hold the Justice Department and FBI accountable “without attacking the rank-and-file law enforcement personnel,” according to the New York Times and video from the Associated Press.
“Our party stands with the men and women who stand on the thin blue line at the federal and state and local level, and these attacks on the FBI must stop,” Pence said. “Calls to defund the FBI are just as wrong as calls to defund the police.”
Pence’s remarks come as federal law enforcement weathers a fresh wave of attacks and threats of violence in the wake of the Mar-a-Lago raid. Last week, a gunman allegedly attempted to break into the FBI’s field office in Cincinnati. The suspect died after a lengthy standoff with law enforcement. The FBI issued a joint intelligence bulletin with the DHS last week as well, warning of “violent threats” against federal law enforcement, courts and government personnel and facilities in the aftermath of the FBI’s search of Mar-a-Lago. And on Monday, a Pennsylvania man was arrested and charged for posting graphic and violent death threats online, aimed at FBI agents.
Despite some congressional Republicans’ cries for vengeance, many top GOP senators have taken a more muted tone in response to the Mar-a-Lago search.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) declined to comment on the FBI’s raid during a press conference in Kentucky a day after the search. Although GOP Conference Chair Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY), GOP Vice Conference Chair Joni Ernst (R-IA) and NRSC chair Rick Scott (R-FL) released statements, they mostly called on the DOJ to provide “answers” on why the raid happened in the first place.